śrī mahāganapate namaḥ
śrī sarasvatyai namaḥ
śrī pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śrī guru dattātreyāya namaḥ
(Pujya Swamiji chants a mantra)
Let us meditate on Lakshmi Narasimha. It is believed that meditating on Lakshmi Narasimha in a forest removes all sins. Lord Narasimha is omni-present, in all forms, as mentioned in the Bhagavata. Great importance is accorded to Lord Narasimha in Bhagavata. The episode of Prahlada is wonderful. Lord Narasimha moves about in the forests. He resides in the Kadamba trees. He followed Mother Goddess Chenchu Lakshmi who resides in the forests. He blessed Prahlada and came to the forests in search of Lakshmi Devi. The poison from Hiranyakashipu’s stomach was smeared all over his nails when he tore the demon’s stomach apart! Hiranyakashipu had a strange boon that he cannot be killed either in the day or at night, neither inside a house nor outside, by no weapons. Lord Narasimha, at dusk, held the demon on his lap, at the doorstep and using his nails, tore the stomach and pulled out the intestines and killed Hiranyakashipu. Sri Purandara Dasa describes this incident very beautifully and says, the lord did not kill Hiranyakashipu. He was looking to see how many more precious gems like Prahlada were hidden in him. The Lord is so compassionate. This should be our line of thought. But our thoughts are always negative. We say Pandavas had to go through so many hardships despite Krishna being on their side. Krishna killed so many demons. May be He likes Himsa (violence). We speak without thinking. If you really understand the ways of the Lord, you will not talk loosely of His greatness.
Bhagavata says that we must not waste a single minute. Every moment of wakeful state should be spent in thinking of the Lord. This moment of wakefulness is for His remembrance. But look at us – we educate ourselves only for a livelihood but not for liberation.
You earn lofty degrees, a PhD, and you will get a very well-paying job. You can become secretary; you can become a Prime Minister also. The current focus is on getting a good job, earning more and more, building a house, accumulating more wealth, getting a good spouse, having children; getting a spouse who is more educated than you are, or earns more than you do – this has become a competition. What a sorry state this is! There is so much misunderstanding. Internally, there is a war of discontent waging between couples. There is a constant desire for more things. Not for day do you experience detachment or the desire to follow Guru. The mind doesn’t agree. But you must force your mind to go after the Guru – Going after Guru does not mean moving around Him. Following His words amounts to following Him. When we do this, we attain a little knowledge. This knowledge helps us in our journey across lives. Along with the degrees you earn for the material world, follow Guru’s words also. Bhagavata did not ask you to stop gaining the education needed for this world. You must follow all the stages (Ashramas) of life – Grihastashrama – have children, earn wealth, build 10 houses – no one is stopping you. By God’s grace you will be able to attain all of these. Bhagavata has never asked you to give up your children, wife, and wealth or become a Digambara – not once!
Bhagavata insists that you must observe the Ashrama Dharma (different stages of life). It also emphasizes 10 times more that you must contemplate on the essence of Bhagavata and engage in spiritual practice! Only then there is a meaning to all the effort you put in for your material gains. You get the knowledge to utilize your wealth in the right way. You only accumulate for your children. Irrespective of how much wealth you give them, when you grow old, they will still be hesitant to care for you. “When are these old people going to die? I’m not able to go to a picnic. I want to marry off my daughter. But the doctor says my parent has to undergo a surgery.” There is no love for the parents despite all the wealth he obtained from them. He is now selfish about his family.
Once it rained very heavily. Everyone was trying to cross over to a safe place. There was a couple with a donkey they had domesticated. We also have donkeys called Scooters or bikes – but they do not move on their own (Svayamchaalita). If you place a load on the donkey, it will automatically follow you as you walk. But that is not true for a scooter or car! The modern donkey doesn’t listen to you! This man put some load on the donkey and started walking along with his wife and child. As they moved forward, the water started rising. You may have experienced something similar earlier. It can be quite scary, and you just feel like running for life! A lot of plantations were destroyed, cattle died. There was a great loss! As they continued walking, the man suddenly felt that he should sit on the donkey. He also made his wife sit on the donkey. The donkey moved forward for some time. With such a heavy load, it waded through water for a while and then dropped dead.
The water levels continued to rise. Fearing for his life, the man drowned his wife thinking she will be a burden to manage. It started raining more heavily. He took the child and stood on top of his wife. Water levels kept rising. He was only one foot short of being submerged under water. He thought hard and then put his child below and stood on top of the child also! The child was about a foot. The donkey, wife and child – all died. One is so protective of one’s life. Nothing else matters! Child or wife did not matter. The rain continued and then he died too. Don’t ask me the rest of the story or for his address. What is important to note here is the extent of human selfishness. One does not worry about anyone else. A man is only concerned for his and his family’s wellbeing. This has become the mindset. This must be changed. We must learn to treat everyone alike. Everything we see is God’s creation.
Today we have gathered from different places – Nisrani, Bangalore, Mysore. You’ve put aside your work and come here to see Swamiji; you may be related to people here, but you came to see Swamiji. More people would have gathered if we had publicised Sri Swamiji’s program. But I did not want to do it. Its airy in the hall now and peaceful. The atmosphere is very nice. Hence, I remembered Lord Narasimha.
You are in the abode of Lord Narayana. At least once a week, perform ablution to the deities and offer Payasam (sweet porridge) as naivedyam. You can offer just sugar candy or coconut also. Women can also perform the worship, not only men.
(The people there indicated there is a priest who does the worship daily.)
All the priests of the ashrama centres are in a Whatsapp group that Sri Swamiji is also a part of. Sri Swamiji gives guidance or instructions through this group to the priests. They must have faith in Sri Swamiji. The god they worship may have not spoken to them at all. But the moment they prostrate to me, I speak with them. The Lord they bow down to, many times in the day, does not speak with them. An idol is for enabling concentration and control of mind. Hence, we must worship the idol with the prayer that our mind becomes as steady and firm as the image of the Lord. This is the first lesson. Even if you come in the middle of the night, or after a couple of days, you will find Lord Lakshmi Narasimha here in the same position. He doesn’t eat or sleep. He doesn’t consume the coconut you offer. You offer banana, jackfruit and then eat it. Even the flowers offered wither away. If not cleaned, cockroaches also gather. In Tirupathi, there are many cockroaches moving all around Venkataramana. They consider these creatures as Lakshmi. They do not harm them or take any action to remove them at all. They will keep moving on the Lord’s face also! I felt as though they were moving on my face and wanted to scratch!!
The milk used in abhishekam to the Lord is so sweet. This is milk from Punganoor breed of cows. If coffee is made with this milk, there isn’t a need to add sugar. It has medicinal value as well. Even the dung and urine have medicinal value! The smoke from this dung is very good for people with Asthma. When I made this statement in 1968-69, some people in Mysore found it absurd and thought how smoke can cure Asthma! They poked fun and even came to beat our group with logs and machetes, thinking we are giving reasons to conduct Homa. They said they would beat up the priests doing the homa but would not hurt Swamiji! I told them to spare the priests and beat me if they wanted to. But they said since the priests perform the homa and are the reason for the smoke rising, we will beat them first. I kept telling them that the priests perform homa at my behest. There were 40 people. I pacified them and asked if any of them are suffering from Asthma. Among them, one person came forward and said his wife was suffering from Asthma. I asked him to bring his wife. It was 2:00 AM in the morning. A big yaga was in progress. I insisted that he bring his wife there. He brought her in a horse-cart. She was suffering from very severe Asthma and could barely breathe. She looked like she would collapse any moment. I had her sit near the fire pit (Homa kunda) and asked her to breathe deeply. The husband was very worried that she would die right there! I told him that she will be better at then end of the homa.
After the homa concluded, her difficulty in breathing subsided. She had some inhaler with her. I indicated to her to neither use that nor other medicines. She was completely relieved in a short while! The men were wonderstruck, and they dropped their weapons. They asked if they could also sit near the Homa kunda. I refused and asked them to stand and then collect the Kadubu prasada (sweet dish dear to Lord Ganapati).
This is uncivilized behaviour. People say we are foolish to offer food to an idol. This is a science. Worship is science. Offering Arati, chanting mantra, Yantra, worshipping directions – everything is science. This is a temple. In the temple, there is a lamp next to the main deity. This signifies Prana. The Dhwaja Sthamba (flag post) signifies our spine. The architecture of a temple resembles human body. The six chakras are part of this temple. There are 2 Gopuras (temple towers). One is over the sanctum sanctorum (Sannidhi gopura) and another one at the main entrance (called Gali Gopura). When we pray inside the temple, the vibrations, both good and bad, fall on the main deity. We must not stand directly in front of the deity. There is usually a barricade so people can stand on either side and bend slightly to look at the Lord. In few temples it is allowed. The vibrations undergo transformation and reach the small gopura. These vibrations are then passed on to the Dhwaja Sthamba. From here, they reach the Gali gopura and your prayer reaches the horizon.
Jai Veera Hanuman ki Jai!
Now all your voices have reached the horizon. For 40 years, these vibrations are active in this region. Hence, it is said that you must do bhajans frequently, you must periodically engage in worship and annadana (feeding the hungry). You must feed animals – 2 dogs or 2 cows. In Rajasthan, there is a temple of Lord Datta. After offering Naivedyam to god, they place food on a pedestal. Hundreds of white foxes from the surrounding forest regions come and feed here. This is a practice in this temple.
In Tamil Nadu, there is a place call Pakshi Dhama. Garuda birds come to eat food here. Such miracles happen in many places. We must follow Guru and practice singing bhajans and worship god. We are only selfish. But if we do not engage in Sadhana, there will be nothing left with us towards the end of our life. Without surrendering at the feet of Lord, there is no life.
There are many people who challenge saying they are still living happily without following any of these practices. But this is not a true life. The last few days of your life is the real life. You have no idea when the end will come.
My throat has gone sore due to continuous singing for 7 hours in Rajahmundry Hanuman Chalisa program. There were over 50,000 people. They had many mics, but my voice had to be loud to be able to command! I can speak now only in moderate pitch, but if I sing or speak in high pitch, I will lose my voice. I need to rest my voice.
We have all gathered here. We must change our way of life for the better. Read Bhagavat Gita, understand the meaning. Great scientists have attempted to understand the meaning of Bhagavat Gita and have changed their way of life. You must also make an attempt to change your life.
Sripad’s mother was very devoted and always offered everything to Sri Swamiji. Her children also were not aware. She offered gold also to Sri Swamiji. Now don’t ask me for it! She was a very devoted soul. She never came empty handed to Swamiji. It does not mean that I’ve come here because she gifted me all these things. She was like a sister to me. She was indeed my sister in some previous birth. I have 2 sisters. Ashrama is large. Any number of volunteers are not sufficient. One of them left this world thinking she wanted to be away from the troubles of this world. Another sister is working for the ashrama sincerely. They ensure that no negative remark is made about ashrama. They have given up livelihood outside and have come to Sri Swamiji to serve. I had to visit this place earlier, but due to unavoidable circumstances I could not come. A devotee of mine was nearly on her death bed. Her condition was very critical. She has done yeomen service to Sri Swamiji. She is running an orphanage in Peru. She has financially supported orphans in Ethiopia. I watched something on TV and directed her to send some aid to them – Rs. 3 lakhs. They are not related to me. I could have asked her to give me that money and kept it all for my ashrama. No, this had to be sent to those people. She has done immense service for all activities. She helped build the ashrama hospital. About 200-300 people are benefitting from the free medical services offered at the hospital daily. If you offer any money to Swamiji, I will put it aside for medical services. The money that comes from Hundi is transferred to the trust where such initiatives are managed. Where there is paucity, funds from Hundi are directed towards those trusts.
There are many devotees who insist on making an offering to Sri Swamiji only. I accept that and when they leave, it is put in the Trust again. It is my wish to appropriately disburse this money for the right causes. I travelled 18-19 hours to see that devotee of mine. Though I was mentally thinking of Nisrani, I had to travel there. I came back and travelled to Surat. She has a daughter by name Levani, who is caring for her mother. She is a very intelligent child. (Swamiji talks to her though the live stream) Levani, how are you? I think you are seeing the livestream. I am very happy. This is a small village. I inaugurated Lakshmi Narayana temple. This family is very close to me. They help the poor people and feed animals. They have betel nut farms here. I walked all around the farms yesterday and this morning. It is very nice.
Jaya Guru Datta
Sri Guru Datta